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December 1914 -
Henry's First Election Victory

The First World War had begun in August of 1914 and the papers were filled with news from the front. Each edition in 1914 carried two standard features “Canadian Casualties” and “Pith of War News”. In December of 1914 one of the local items that had attracted the editor’s attention was a “Scathing Censure of Regina Police System. Findings of Judge Farrell of Moosomin Revealed. Highly Critical of Chief Berry”

Regina was still re-building from the devastating effects of the cyclone of 1912.

In the December 2, 1914 paper, a young (age 39) Henry Black advertised his aldermanic candidacy with a modest advertisement. “Your vote and Support Respectfully Solicited for Henry Black for Alderman” Only men who owned property and paid taxes could vote.

Another story told of an-candidates meeting. “Candidates Talk To The Ratepayers - Mr. Henry Black, when called upon by the chair, read a circular in which was embodied his platform. He said he would be willing to give 3 per cent discount on taxes paid before the 1st of October. He would be in favor of an independent police commission. He would also like to see day labor done by the city whenever possible.”

One of Henry Black’s opponents in the 1914 election, Angus McKay, had a unique slogan: “Retrenchment With Efficiency”.

On Friday December 11th, there was an all-candidates’ meeting at City Hall. The Morning Leader reported that it got a bit lively. “There were 14 speakers besides the mayorality candidates and one old gentleman whose name was not on the programme but who insisted on speaking. He finally gained the platform. Once there, he tried to explain in detail just how he wanted to have his questions answered. When Mayor Martin tried to explain that the podium was for candidates only, the old gentleman challenged His Honor to “...just try and chuck me off!”

The Morning Leader explained the election rules thusly: “Of the aldermen elected on December 12, 1914, one half of them (5) will remain on city council for two years, the balance for one year. The five candidates securing the highest number of votes will be the ones to serve a two-year term, while the five with the next highest votes will be out at the end of 1915.”

There were 28 hopefuls vying for the 10 aldermanic seats. Henry Black just squeaked in with 1386 votes. He came in at 9th place.

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